For many homeowners, it’s already hard enough to keep up with regular chores like washing the dishes and doing laundry. This makes it easy to forget less visible areas of your home when it comes to cleaning. If you neglect these areas for a long time, they become incredibly dirty and result in needing repairs or replacement. That’s why we have identified those often forgotten places and created this list so that you can tackle neglected parts of your home. But if you’re short on time in your lifestyle, at SweepSouth we are committed to cleaning your home from top to bottom, all you have to do is make a booking.
1. Light Switches
Have you ever thought about how many times a day you switch on lights? Even if you have clean hands, each time you switch on a light, germs are spreading. To clean your light switches, dampen a cloth with soap and water or your favourite cleaner and wipe them down.
Cleaning your walls is something often neglected. To clean your interior walls, a sweeper floor mop is not only effective for hard floors, but also your walls. Attach a dry cloth to the mop and press it along the dusty walls and trim. A mop covered with a cloth or a feather duster can pick up dust, cobwebs, and dirt from a distance without you having to step on a ladder. If you’ve never cleaned walls before, you may want to learn how to clean walls so that you can clean them more regularly.
Baseboards don’t get much attention which they need, especially if you have pets and children. These tend to collect a lot of dust and debris that accumulate along the surface.
Your vacuum cleaner is perfect for cleaning baseboards. You may want to use a brush attachment to suck up dust and dirt. Then, take a sponge and some soapy water to wipe the baseboards clean and remove streaks and residue.
4. Remote Control
Your TV remote gets covered in germs and dead skin unless it’s cleaned regularly. Wipe the remote down once a week with an alcohol-based wipe or spray that has 70% alcohol. Then dry the surface thoroughly.
Your pillows should be washed at least every 4 months or so. Put them in the washing machine on a gentle wash with hot water to remove sweat, dust and dead skin cells. While in the dryer cycle you can add a few clean tennis balls to help speed up drying and to keep the pillow guts from clumping.
5. Ceiling Fan
Sometimes you have to look up to see one of the most neglected items of your home. When ceiling fans aren’t in use, dust gathers on the blades and circulates through the air when you turn it on. Most homeware stores sell ceiling fan dusters so you can get to cleaning the hard-to-reach areas, but if you do use a ladder and soapy sponge to clean your ceiling fan, do so with caution.
The next time you’re deep cleaning or even spring cleaning your bedroom, don’t forget about the closets. You’ll want to clean inside the closets at least once a year or once every new season. Make sure to declutter unworn and outgrown clothes, then dust and wipe down the walls. Be sure to vacuum the shelves and trim in your closet.
7. Dishwasher Filters
Your dishwasher filter catches bits of food left on the dishes during a cleaning cycle. If the filter is clogged, the leftover food will start to swirl around inside the dishwasher and onto your already dirty dishes. This can make your dishwasher a breeding ground for mould and bacteria.
Also, if you notice a bad smell whenever you open the dishwasher or the dishes are left with a sort of residue after cleaning, or you can see the build-up, it’s time to clean out the filter.
8. Handles And Doorknobs
Just like light switches, doorknobs are constantly touched throughout the day. They too gather all kinds of dirt, grime and germs on their surfaces. This can turn doorknobs into virus spreaders, it’s important to give them a good clean with an antibacterial cleaner and a microfiber cloth.
While cleaning the doorknobs, use the cloth to clean the tops of the doors and the areas around them. It’s shocking how much dust settles there.
You will want to clean all handles and doorknobs around the home, not just the interior ones. You’ll also want to wipe down handles and knobs on cabinets, drawers, and household appliances.
9. Tile Grout
If you want to keep your kitchen and bathroom floors looking clean and pristine, make regular cleaning a habit. Many people miss cleaning the tile grout and it slowly starts fading and becomes discoloured over time.
You can either buy a grout cleaning solution or make your own with ¾ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide, and a tablespoon of dish soap. If you have coloured grout, rather go for oxygen bleach over chlorine bleach to prevent further discolouration.
10. Kitchen Shelves
While your kitchen counters are probably sparklingly clean, what about the shelves?
Cabinet and pantry shelves tend to gather a fair amount of dust, crumbs, spills and dirt buildup. While you’re cleaning the pantry, you may want to take the time to throw out expired foods and organise the rest of the items in the pantry. It’s best to do this when spring cleaning your kitchen so your entire kitchen will be squeaky clean and organised.
It’s easy to overlook cleaning your microwave, although it’s one of the most used appliances in the kitchen. When you get down to cleaning it, you’ll be surprised by the caked-on bits of food and grease, which can promote bacteria growth and possible food poisoning.
Remove the glass plates and wash them with dish soap and water, or in the dishwasher. Wipe down the interior walls of the microwave with an antibacterial cleaner or a mixture of white vinegar and water.
One of the most used appliances in your home, the oven is probably in need of some care. Many ovens nowadays have a self-cleaning setting. Remove the racks, pots and pans, and be sure there will be enough time for a few hours to air out the kitchen after cleaning.
Once the oven has cooled completely, wipe the inside with a damp cloth. If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, it’s simple to do this yourself. Create a paste from baking soda and water, and apply it to the inside of the oven. Wait for a couple of hours, then wipe the inside of the oven again with a damp cloth to remove the baking soda.
13. Outdoor Lights
Like anything outside, outdoor light fixtures get dirty. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of cleaning and inspecting outdoor lights once or twice a year, especially checking for nests and infestations. The heat produced by outdoor lights makes an ideal environment for mice and rodents.
Despite being covered with sheets and covers, your mattress still gets incredibly dirty. Your mattress should be regularly vacuumed and spot cleaned – also air your mattress outside under the sun for a few hours to remove lingering odours.
15. Vinyl Siding
Even though vinyl siding usually remains relatively clean, sometimes stubborn stains need more than just a spray from your hose or pressure washer. You’ll want to learn how to clean the siding of your home and make your house stand out and shine.
Your fridge is the most important appliance in the kitchen; it has the purpose of keeping food fresh to eat and bacteria-free. Regular cleaning of your fridge will not only help to keep food fresh and bacteria away, but if your fridge is made of stainless steel, regular cleaning will keep it looking new, sparkling, and stain-free.
17. Window Weep Holes
Sliding windows and vinyl replacement windows usually have weep holes on the bottom of the exterior part of the frame to drain rainwater. Weep holes can be clogged with insects and debris. To clean them, simply poke a piece of wire into the hole or spray it with compressed air. You may want to check out more window cleaning tips here.
18. Computer Keyboard
In addition to germs on your hands already, your keyboard collects food crumbs, hair, and skin cells. Every few months, use compressed air to get the crumbs out, then use a cotton bud dipped in some rubbing alcohol to wipe in between the keys.
19. Refrigerator Coils
You probably don’t remember the last time you cleaned behind your refrigerator, including the coils.
Frequently cleaning the coils takes only 15 minutes and can assist in reducing your electricity bills while extending the life of the fridge. You should try to get into the habit of cleaning fridge coils every six months.
19. Garage Floor
During winter, all kinds of leaves and debris have probably blown into the garage. Your family and pets can easily track this dirt into the house, even if you do have welcome mats.
Every few months, give the garage floors a sweep. Every six months you’ll want to vacuum the garage floor from debris. A garage is a dark place in which spiders and insects like to hide, you may need to set traps if necessary.
20. Outdoor Furniture
The winter months can be harsh on outdoor furniture. Even if covered up, outdoor chairs, couches, and cushions are susceptible to the effects of the weather, dirt, and moisture.
Use a gentle soap solution to clean metal, wicker, and plastic furnishings. Rust is also a common issue outdoors. Use steel wool to remove small areas affected by rust. If rust has spread along the surface, you may want to repaint it to preserve its life.
21. Range Hood
Many of us spend more time cooking at home and using our kitchen appliances. Range hoods help keep the interior air quality fresh and odour free by drawing steam upwards and smoke up and out of the house. Over time, grease builds up in the range hood and filter, which can negatively affect its performance if overlooked.
Before you clean the range hood, check the instructions in the user manual for cleaning instructions. Warm water and a small amount of liquid dish soap will usually be enough to take care of the cleaning. If your range hood has tougher grease build-up, you may need a vinegar-water solution or a commercial degreaser. Lastly, to clean the filter, remove it and soak it in soapy water, then leave it to dry.
22. Coffee Machine
If you drink coffee regularly and rely on a brewer for your daily cup of coffee, over time, all the water that moves through the machine’s tubing will collect mineral buildup. If overlooked, it will eventually corrode and damage your machine. Yeast and mould can also appear in the water reservoir which no one wants.
At least once a month, descale your coffee machine with a cleaning solution of 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts water. Then brew 2 pots to rinse out the solution, you should refer back to your coffee maker’s manual for descaling and cleaning instructions.
23. Carpets And Rugs
Daily foot traffic and spills from children and pets mean that regular vacuuming of your carpets is not sufficient enough to clean your carpets and rug fibres. To remove more than just the surface dirt from these areas a deep clean is required.
The best results are reached with the use of a steamer. For rugs, mild rug shampoo and a soft bristle brush should clean them properly. If you want to leave this job to the pros, you can have your carpets and rugs cleaned professionally by a SweepStar.
24. Cleaning Tools And Supplies
How can you achieve a clean house if the cleaning tools and supplies are dirty to begin with? Odd as it may sound, dirty, old cleaning supplies can cause frustration. You may want to take inventory of your cleaning tools such as your toilet scrub, brushes, brooms, buckets, and mops. This way you can see which ones need to be replaced or disinfected. Next, fill a clean bucket with water and an all-purpose cleaner, then soak tools and supplies in the bucket for a couple of hours, ending with rinsing and drying the items.
25. Soft Surfaces And Fabrics
Often it’s the things we can’t see that can do the most damage. These are your drapes, curtains, and pillows. Your drapes, curtains, throw pillows and dust ruffles around your bed may be covered in allergens and dust that you just cannot see.
As soon as spring comes around and you open up the windows, all the dust will travel through the air. You can handle this with your vacuum attachments – use the upholstery tool and extension wand to clean window treatments and retexture furnishings.
You don’t have to clean all of these things at once. You can incorporate them into your weekly or monthly cleaning routine – you will be able to manage the tasks if they are scheduled. If you don’t have the time or need a hand with these tasks, you can always book a deep clean with SweepSouth.